Narendra Modi was not alone, Jitendra Singh too was denied US visa

Jitendra Singh
New Delhi, May 29: Narendra Modi has been welcomed to the US after swearing-in as the Prime Minister of India, despite previous differences with the country. But there is another person in his Council of Ministers-Dr Jitendra Singh who shares the same fate. Right from the Amarnath row to being the leading voice against Article 370.

Singh, a diabetologist, took early retirement from the Government Medical College, Jammu to join politics actively. He was at the forefront of controversy for his remark against Article 370. Singh's brother, Devendra Singh Rana, was on the other side of the Jammu debate. He is presently the provincial president of National Conference for Jammu and one of the most reliable associates of Omar Abdullah.

Jitendra Singh, however, came to the political frame when he became the spokesperson of Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SAAS) that agitated for the restoration of forest land to the board. The 2008 Amarnath land agitation witnessed a divided Jammu and Kashmir, which went in favour and against the transfer of 39.88 hectares of forest land to the Board.

According to DNA, the protests were rooted in the then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's decision to transfer the land to the board and then retract. THis is when Singh joined politics actively. But his stint with SASB led to the denial of a US visa when he was to travel to Washington as a member of an eight-member BJP delegation to attend an interactive meet organised by International Republican Institute and the Republican Party in June 2011.

However, senior BJP members have a completely different view of him. Leela Karan Sharma, former convenor of SASB, said,"Even when he was a doctor, he used to write articles in newspapers. Therefore he became the spokesman of the Board. He used to address press conferences and participate in discussions in TV debates."

Fayaz Ahmad Bhat from BJP unit in Kashmir said,"It is matter of pride that an intelligent man like Jitendra Singh has been given an important position at the Centre, which will help boost the development scenario of J&K."

An advisor to the BJP state president Hari Om said,"Article 370 is in our manifesto. I think Omar sahib has lost his way when he says if Article 370 goes, then the state will secede from India."

OneIndia News

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